Weekly Product Updates

W48 Soybean Update: Europe Breaks Records, Brazil Grapples With Planting Woes

Market & Price Trends
Published Dec 8, 2023

2023 Soybean Harvest in Europe Exceeds Expectations

The 2023 soybean harvest in Europe exceeded forecasts, with 12.2 million metric tons (mmt) harvested. This represents a one-third increase in soy production from the same growing area in the European Union (EU). Harvest volumes in Europe increased by almost a quarter compared to the previous year. The significant increase in soybean harvest in Europe is attributed to the expansion of soybean cultivation areas in Ukraine by 20%, coupled with favorable rainfall distribution and drought periods in the EU, leading to higher yields per hectare (ha). Despite a decrease in cultivation area in Austria by 6.4% and Germany by 12.8%, both countries experienced a notable increase in harvests by 9.4% and 9.6%, respectively. Austria's harvest reached 267 thousand metric tons (mt), almost double that of Germany, which harvested 140 thousand mt.

USDA Reports 1.44 MMT of Soybean Shipments

In the week ending November 23, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported soybean shipments at 1.44 mmt, falling below expectations for corn but aligning with projections for soybeans and wheat. The expected range for soybean shipments was 1 to 1.9 mmt. Meanwhile, harvest activities in Kentucky are concluding, with 95% of soybeans harvested for local farmers.

Brazil Revises 2023/24 Soybean Forecast to 161.38 MMT

The projected soybean production in Brazil for the 2023/24 season is 161.38 mmt, reflecting a 2.2% increase compared to the previous harvest. Despite being anticipated as the largest harvest in history, the estimate was revised downward from the initial Jul-23 projection of 163.25 mmt, representing a 1.15% reduction. The increase in planted area is estimated at 2.1%, reaching 45.62 million ha, with average productivity expected to rise from 3.55 to 3.56 mt/ha.

Brazil's 2023/24 Soybean Planting Progresses Slowly

Brazil's soybean planting for the 2023/24 season has reached 74% of the planned area, marking the slowest progress in eight years. Despite a 6% increase week-on-week (WoW), planting lags significantly behind last year's level of 87%, with adverse weather conditions, including excess humidity in Rio Grande do Sul, contributing to the delays.

The soybean planting area in the State of Paraná, Brazil, for the 2023/24 harvest is anticipated to increase to 5.78 million ha, representing a growth of approximately 1.5% compared to the previous season 2022/23, which was projected at 5.69 million ha. The estimated soybean production in Paraná is around 21.75 mmt, indicating a decrease of roughly 2.7% compared to the previous harvest, which was projected at 22.36 mmt. The average productivity of soybean crops is expected to reach 3.75 mt/ha, reflecting a 3.1% decline from 3.87 mt/ha in 2022/23.

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